Building a Gaming PC, Need Help Selecting Graphics Card (AMD)
As the title states, I am looking for an AMD Graphics card that would work well for a gaming PC on Linux. I know Nvidia's drivers are usually better for Linux, but i'd like to have an AMD card for the upcoming Mantle API, that and i've never used Nvidia before so I suppose you could say i'm more "loyal" to AMD. Price isn't a huge problem, but i'd say around $300 is my budget, I can put more or less if need be, but then again, most of the super new AMD cards have bad support on Linux so far, so I don't think i'll need to worry about that. I was looking at the AMD Radeon r7 260x (I guess I could get dual of this card and crossfire if that'd be recommended), but not sure if it would hold up to the standards of what i'm wanting it for. For reference, my PC is going to have 16 gigs of ram, power supply can be adjusted as needed, and my cpu will be an Intel Core i5-4670 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor, although that's liable to change if anyone here has a better suggestion for that as well. Some games I play are Bioshock Infinite, Skyrim, Payday 2, and that's honestly about it for High-end games, i've never had a great graphics card so i've never been able to play the more graphics-intensive games such as other AAA games. Most of my games list consists of all Valve source games, all Penumbra and Amnesia games (i'll want a great graphics card for playing the upcoming SOMA from Frictional Games) League of Legends (I'm gonna have to play that in Windows sadly, hard to get to work well in Linux), and a collection of other somewhat mid-level indie games(click all at bottom to see all my games I own on steam). I guess any other computer parts could be suggested, this is the first time i've built my own PC, and I just want to get parts that will go well with Linux (and the inevitable occasional "I have to play this game in Windows" game, planning on getting a small ssd for just Windows). (Sorry this is so long, I wanted to be thorough ). Here is my build list so far if anyone is interested.
The R7 260x is a relabled HD 7790 with some slighly differnet audio features (enabled via firmware). For many games AMD gfx card work fine, but for Source engine games like all newer Valve titles the binary fglrx feels like crap. I tested r600g for the older generation with my HD 5670 and it worked better than fglrx, but i still have got no radeonsi compatible card to compare that. You usually have to change settings in L4D2 that the fps never drop below around 100 (i know that the display only shows 60) otherwise you feel a mouse lag. Now i use a Nvidia GTX 650 Ti for gaming, that card is fast enough, but could be faster as it is below 60 fps for more demanding games. I would go for the fastest Nvidia card you can afford for Linux games right now or try to use open source drivers for AMD cards at least in case you buy it, the binary driver is too bad.
Mantle might never come to Linux, or if it does, think many apps will support it?
I would recommend an APU, either Richland (a10-6800k) if you want to use open drivers, or the latest Kaveri (a10-7850k) for the binary driver and possible mantle support. With that you get mobo + cpu + gpu for the price of your picked Intel cpu alone
Must be a joke to recommend AMD cpus - not even for the gpu part. Then i would prefer using haswell gfx. The per core speed is very low with AMD cpus and haswell is improving well.
I don't think i've ever used the open source drivers for long periods of time, they are pretty bad in my experience, I always go straight to AMD's website and download the catalyst beta drivers (Sadly 13.12 drivers won't install in mint for some reason, only 13.11 ) Those drivers work the best for me (not selecting fglrx from the drivers menu, that seems to be on par with the open source drivers for some reason (sorry if i'm bad with the names, I can get fglrx and radeonsi drivers and it's a bit confusing sometimes unless i'm only talking about either "open source" or "proprietary"). I haven't had a huge amount of issues with the beta drivers, they can be a pain to install sometimes, especially if they're beta drivers, so you have to remove the beta watermark, but other than that, it works great. The open source drivers are a joke though to be honest, there was not a lot of things I could run well with them (My laptop that I use now has an AMD A10 quad core apu, not sure what number, I could check if needed) Say, League of Legends for example, not the best example since it's a PITA to get to run on Linux, but, with the open source drivers, I couldn't even get the Launcher to open, but after I switched to the catalyst drivers, it ran like a charm (a bit low frame-rate, but it ran at least. Some other steam games I had problems with too for the open source drivers, games like Half-Life 2 were a little laggy with the open source drivers (as tested with my late (RIP) desktop with a radeon HD 5570) but with the beta drivers, I had no issues with games like TF2 (Either run through wine or the native Linux version) and even portal 2 ran fairly good. As I said, i'm not really partial to AMD, but I have such high hopes for Mantle, i'd like to be prepared when it's officially released that I'll be able to use it in full effect once I obtain a game that supports using Mantle. As far as cards go, what are your opinions on crossfiring cards? I was thinking about getting two r7s (the r9 is a bit expensive even for just one, and from looking around, it doesn't seem to have great Linux support, but I suppose that'll change eventually) and crossfiring them, but I don't know if it'd be worth it to just instead get one r9 and hope that they fix the drivers for it quickly.
Originally Posted by Kano
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